Tuesday, May 30, 2017

All Dogs go to Heaven

Dogs are about the most loyal companion you will find. Sadly, my Mother-in-law last her's last night. So technically Santa brought Cowgirl to Tbug when she was 3 or 4 (Tbug was 3 or 4 not Cowgirl), but this dog was my MIL's dog. She lived with my MIL. My MIL spoiled her rotten. And even though my MIL always claimed that was Tbug's dog... we all secretly knew that that was Memaw's dog.

Memaw was torn up. She told hubby that was her best friend. She couldn't bury her so hubby and I went over to bury Cowgirl for her. Hubby nor Memaw could call and tell Tbug so I volunteered. Some days it is rough being the adult. I'm not really sure if it even affected Tbug. I couldn't tell via the phone. I offered to come pick her up so she could help us, but her mom said that she had bball practice and couldn't come.

Then the next task is explaining to a toddler what happened. Have I mentioned it's rough being an adult, especially the parent. Dogs though, they're the best and remember All Dogs Go To Heaven because they're so great.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Raspberry-Rose Cupcakes

Here we are... back with the Cupcake Challenge I put on myself back in January. You know, the one where I make all the cupcakes in the January/February issue of Food Network Magazine 😀.

I realized the other day that we're at the end of the month, I still haven't made the May cupcake, and this weekend is so busy that I won't have time until June if I don't sit down and make them... RIGHT NOW!!

 The day that I was going to make these (the day before the day before) I didn't have any sour cream. I asked hubby to pick me up some on the way home. When he got home we got so busy that I wasn't able to make them that night.. So I made them the next morning.

To say I wasn't really excited about these cupcakes is a little bit of an understatement. I'm not the biggest fan of raspberries. They're just okay in my book. Then Rose Water. What in the heck is rose water and where do you find it?

Rose Water comes in a jar similar to Vanilla. In fact, when you find it, it is in the baking aisle next to the vanilla, but around here anyway no store has any. I went on the hunt for Rose water back in like February because I'd never heard of it. Finally in March my aunt was in town and wanted to go to Springfield. While we were in Springfield we went to a whole market food store and that's where we found it. AC bought it for me and then couldn't wait to see what I thought of these cupcakes.

The Rose Water was extremely fragrant. Almost over overpoweringly. Is that a word? Yes, yes it is. When I opened the bottle to smell it, it reminded me of smelling roses, not hubby. He thought it stunk... lol. Then on top of the rose water, the raspberries. I'm not really sure why I'm not a big fan... but there are other fruits I prefer better.

Lastly, we were supposed to split the cupcakes open with a paring knife and place some of the rose water/raspberries in the middle. This seemed difficult. I didn't have much luck. Some of the mixture that went in the middle of the cupcakes also went into the icing. While it was a little over powering... it wasn't nearly as bad. I thought the frosting was pretty good, that is until it sat for a while. The more it sat, the stronger the rose water got.

Let's say the cupcake batter was excellent. It was a good solid vanilla cupcake recipe. From there I wasn't totally sold.

Raspberry-Rose Cupcakes 

Ingredients
For the cupcakes:
For the filling:
For the frosting:

Directions

Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk the melted butter, sugar, sour cream, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth. Add the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds of the way. Bake until the tops of the cupcakes are golden and spring back when gently pressed, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Combine the raspberries, 1 cup water and the sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Whisk the cornstarch, rosewater and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Add to the raspberries and continue to cook, stirring, until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing on the solids with a rubber spatula. Let cool, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the frosting: Put the sugar and egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer; set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water). Whisk until the mixture is warm and the sugar dissolves, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer; beat with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed until stiff glossy peaks form, 6 to 8 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on medium-high speed, beat in the butter a few pieces at a time, making sure the pieces are incorporated before adding more. (It¿s OK if the frosting looks curdled¿it will smooth out as you beat.) Once all the butter is added, continue beating until the frosting is smooth, 1 to 2 more minutes. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of the raspberry filling and the rosewater and beat until thick and smooth.

With a paring knife, cut a 3/4-inch-deep slit across the top of each cupcake, nearly edge to edge; gently squeeze the sides of the cupcake so the slit opens. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the raspberry filling into each cupcake. Let stand 5 minutes, then spoon the remaining filling into the cupcakes. Spread the frosting on the cupcakes. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Audrey's Puppies


Surprise, Audrey had puppies. Yeah, it was quite a surprise for us too. We didn't want puppies, but hey we got them. I'm  not going to lie, I kind of steered clear of them. I didn't want to get attached. It's easy to do! Puppies are so sweet. In fact, I think that Abug got a little attached. Whoops. Like I said, it's easy to do.

When we got home from Cozumel, the puppies were of age to leave the nest. Hubby put them on Craig's List at like 3pm and by 7pm they all had new homes. Yes, they went that fast. It was CRAZY! So until next time... although unless they are purebreds I really hope there isn't a next time. But look at those cute little fur balls. Aren't they adorable?

One couple who took the last 2 asked why we weren't keeping them and we were like, we already have 5 dogs at home. They laughed but we weren't joking.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hydration Station


Can you believe it has been 6 years since the Joplin Tornado. Man, life has changed. Joplin has healed, maybe not all the way, but has healed. They've started to rebuild, but the streets definitely don't look the same. The new hospital has been built to replace St. John's. It's not just Mercy. A memorial park has been created where the old St. John's Building was.

But every year there is now a memorial walk/run in honor or memory of those who were in the tornado. People come in from all over so I've heard. There's a memory walk, a 5K, 10K, and a full marathon. People run for all different reasons. And all throughout the route are names of the 158 who lost their lives during the tornado.

Our Red Coater Friends have to do community service projects throughout the years and this is the second year they've decided to pass out drinks, water/powerade, to the runners. I think for this event we became honorary Red Coaters because we were there at 5:30 at their hotel to meet them and go help set up. I was kind of self-appointed/asked to be the photographer.

We were shocked how cool it was. By the end of our time with them (say 11am) we went on the hunts for sweatshirts/jackets. Luckily for hubby I had a lightweight jacket in the truck he could wear. I already had a sweatshirt on luckily so I sorta saved him. He was still cold. Like I said, it was a lightweight jacket. My sweatshirt wasn't a whole lot better.

And this last picture, we teased these people running by that they might have been running after the beer truck.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I now have a High Schooler!!!! ACK!


Oh dear.... Yesterday I learned just how old I am. My oldest is going to be in HIGH SCHOOL next year. Say what? She was just 6, right? Well she turned 14 this year. Holy cow!

Yesterday was her 8th Grade Promotion. They had a very nice ceremony. The kids wore their class t-shirts and jeans. They entered kind of like you would at graduation. There was a slide show of baby photos and then recent photos of them. Then the band, orchestra, and choir performed. Finally they got certificates and well wishes on to the next phase of their school career.

It kind of freaked me out when I realized that she's the class of 2021. That just so happens to be exactly 20 years after we graduated (hubby and me). We were class of 2001. I was 19 the year Tbug was born. I was 17 when I graduated. That means I'll be 37 when she graduates. HOLY CRAP! I think I'm getting old. Or she is. Or we all are. I can't believe she'll be in high school next year.

Don't mind me while I sit over here in the corner and cry my eyes out.

So this year, one of the milestones in her life that I know of was she had her first boyfriend. Her mom asked her what that meant because they never hung out, they just talked at school, on the phone, and via text, but still... remember those first crushes and those first boyfriends.

He broke up with her recently because they, "had nothing in common." I guess she went home and cried her eyes out for 2 hours and decided it wasn't worth it and she wasn't going to date anyone for a long time. Unfortunately the 3 times of the year that relationships in school end are Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Summer Vacation so I kind of anticipated it happening but hoped for the better. Sadly it came true. Although that might make her daddy a little happier.

She goes to a fairly small school so I hope she doesn't settle. I keep telling her don't settle and don't let boys get in the way of your future. She wants to go to vet school so she has a lot of years ahead of her. I just keep telling her not to let those dumb boys get in the way of her future.

Anyway, now I have a freshman on my hands. I think I'm seriously going to go curl up in a ball and cry a bit. I should have said bawl a bit... haha.

Tbug,
Your dad and I are so proud of you. Here's to a great 4 years of high school. Make the most of it! The rest will follow! You'll do great and we'll be here every step of the way. I'm also good at proofreading/writing English papers. Keep that in mind :). haha



Monday, May 22, 2017

Quilt Block 19 & 20

The last I tried sewing I swear everything went wrong from losing material to fighting grandma's sewing machine. I was so frustrated beyond belief I almost couldn't see straight. But I've been away from working on this quilt for 2 weeks now (vacation!!) so I came back with a better attitude.

Before we left Abug and I were at Walmart and she picked out the fabric that was used in Quilt Block 19. I left the material with grandma when we left and she had all the pieces cut out for us by the time we got there yesterday.

She also had her sewing machine fixed so things were looking up... until we misplaced one of the 4"solid pink squares and didn't have any material of the solid pink to fix the mistake. Luckily we didn't give up and we found what we were looking for. Whew! My only other problem is I forgot where I was supposed to gage my 1/4" seam and made a few of my seams 1/2". Dang it!

But this is Quilt block 19 and it turned out without many problems. You can't tell from this photo but it's an oversized quilt block. So I present Quilt Block 19. I'm quite proud of it :). There are a few mistakes in it though. Oh well....

I forgot to bring a new photo of where all the blocks go so I had to use 1 Bar of LTE/3G (bounces back and forth in grandma's rock house) to get a picture of where all the blocks go.

And here is Quilt Block 19. I swear I need to put this on a big open floor, except I don't have anywhere to do that just yet so they just stay on the bed and fall off. Grandma cut out a few pieces to take out the orange/blue block so bad but I'm not crazy about those. I really want to just change up that whole block.

So I mentioned above we were on vacation... we went to Cozumel for 10 days. Abug was able to go with us this year!! So I decided it would be fun to get some material from Cozumel to incorporate into her quilt. In this particular block, the flowers came from Cozumel. We were only able to do one piece of the material we bought for the quilt in this particular block. I'm so excited to incorporate this material into the quilt!

I now present you Quilt Block 20. I really like it!! As with most of my quilt blocks, there are a few flaws. Hopefully it won't show up too bad after it's all sewn together.

And here it is placed in its place on the quilt top.

We won't be able to sew for a couple weeks because next week Monday is Memorial Day and Grandma has knee surgery tomorrow so we decided to take a week off (again). I'm so excited to see this finished. You have no idea!! We're getting close. There are only 24 blocks and this finished up through 20. I can't wait to see what this will look like all together. I think Quilt Block 22 (don't quote me on that) will incorporate Anna/Elsa into the quilt. Yes, this quilt has NO Theme, other than what moves me week to week I guess.

Please say a little prayer for my grandma's surgery tomorrow that all goes well!

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